Online Learning Update

January 24, 2013

Managing High-Enrollment Online Courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

By Rob Kelly, Faculty Focus

Online instructors are being asked to accommodate an increasing number of students in their courses. The challenge is to manage the workload associated with these high-enrollment courses. Susan Fein, eLearning consultant/instructional designer at Washington State University, offered some advice on how to do this. Replace written activities with objective knowledge checks. “One question that instructors can ask is, ‘Is there a chance that I can replace one or more written activities like a discussion forum or paper with some style of objective questions such as quizzes?’” Fein says. “Quizzes or any objective-style assessment is very good for a couple of things, but the easiest slam dunks are facts, figures, terminology, historical events, who discovered what, definition of acronyms, basic foundation concepts—stuff that has a right and a wrong answer.” Use peer review. “Instead of the instructor being the only person who does all the grading, consider doing some peer review activities. Perhaps students could review a first draft of a final paper and provide feedback. Peer review will not work if you don’t provide a rubric. The rubric needs to clearly outline to all the students the criteria they need to look at and how to judge the quality of those various criteria,” Fein says.

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